This week on The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly and Listing Party, Doug chats with eBay’s Griff from BOSS Reseller Remix. They touch base on old times working together at eBay, seller events, podcasting, and much more!
The Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly is the e-commerce resource for the seller community across all platforms and a hub for information on growing your business. Find out more at thesellercommunitypodcast.com, leave a message or ask a question at anchor.fm/sellercommunitypodcast, or email us at email@example.com.
eBay for Business Podcast
Podcasts Archives – Power Selling Mom aka Danna Crawford
BOSS Reseller Remix
eBay Seller Events
Current Live Shows – Poshmark
Season 3: Episode 38: eBay Radio, eBay Open, eBay History, and More with eBetsy | The Seller Community Podcast
The Perfect Store: Inside eBay by Adam Cohen, Paperback
How I Did It: eBay’s Founder on Innovating the Business Model of Social Change
Restricted adult items policy | eBay
Doug: Welcome to the Seller Community Podcast from List Perfectly and Listing Party. This week is one of those special episodes. BOSS Reseller Remix 2023 I got the chance to sit down with my buddy Griff, an eBay legend, basically, the guy who started the eBay community, eBay customer service, eBay education, eBay Radio, and now the eBay for Business podcast.
We talk about recording and recording devices. We talk about eBay Radio. We talk about eBay events from the past. We talk about seller events and their importance and more. And again, Griff, I worked on the same team with Griff when I was at eBay a few years ago, and we did a lot of stuff together.
I worked with him on the launch of the eBay for Business podcast, and I learned a ton from Griff. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for Griff. And, he’s my podcast mentor and, one day he’s going to pass that torch on to somebody, but he’s not quite ready yet. He’s still having fun, he says, still having fun at eBay.
So, listen in on this fun chat I had with my old buddy Griff.
A Chat with Griff from eBay
Doug: I’m here with a man that needs no introduction.
Griff: Okay, then the interview’s over.
Doug: That’s right. And because it is audio here with my friend Griff. Welcome Griff. What do you think?
Griff: I think I think it’s great.
Doug: Griff’s examining the audio device that we have. I think he’s got a newer one.
Griff: No, you have a newer one. We’re both using Zoom H4N Pros. And yours is all black and looks, like an Escalade, compared to mine, which looks like a Prius. They’re, just because of that, mine has silver. But yeah, they’re really good tools. If you’re a podcaster, and you want to take it out in the field. There are other devices. If you’re willing to do a little bit of learning, this works well, the one you’re using.
Doug: Okay. And how does the TSA like yours?
Doug: Yeah. Transportation Safety…
Griff: Oh, I’ve never been stopped. I keep it in my carry-on. I just keep it in the case. No one’s ever… can you turn this on for us? How big a bomb is that?
Doug: Oh, so they interview you. Alright, so tell us for that couple that don’t know who you are and what you do at eBay.
Griff: What? In two seconds?
Doug: We’re on an elevator careening down to the first floor.
Griff: Oh, so I, I’ve been at eBay forever and I started as a customer support rep. And they just never knew how to get rid of me, so I’m still here 25 years later. Is that good?
Doug: Yeah, it is good.
Griff: I’ve done a lot of stuff.
Doug: I know. We could talk for hours. But right now, you do the eBay for Business podcast.
Griff: Yeah, because before that, one of the big parts of my job was being part of something called eBay Radio, which started in 2002. It was the longest-running and first big internet radio, as opposed to podcast, a talk show, and it was LIVE. So you could tune in and listen on the internet to the show live. A lot of people did and then that went for 15 years! And then our co-host and producer and my mentor, Lee Mirabal, decided it was time to retire. We had to rethink what we were going to do with the project, which had an annual budget and it was somewhat successful we talked about it and decided maybe we should just move to podcast format because that’s how a lot of people were listening to content. And it’s a niche market it’s a big one, but it’s still a niche subject.
And so we started in 2018. We changed the format to a podcast and I never had a big team. It was always just me and now we could find co-hosts within the company. Because eBay wasn’t going to give me any budget to hire a co-host. Although I think if I pushed it, they might have. We had Lee for 15 years and she wasn’t an employee, but she became well-known in the eBay community, and that’s how it started. So we’re still doing that, what, five years later? Trying to keep it fresh. eBay Podcasts
Doug: There you go. And it’s, yeah, it’s great. It’s a great show!
Griff: It’s a great opportunity, I think, for us at eBay to provide information that sellers might need to figure out how to make their business better or to start a business.
It’s the same thing with every podcast right now. But what I love about all the additional podcasts that have popped up is that, so, eBay For Business is only like 40 minutes, maybe an hour sometimes, once a week. There’s a lot more listening time during the week. So now we have your podcast with List Perfectly The Seller Community Podcast and I was just talking to Danna Crawford Podcasts Archives – Power Selling Mom aka Danna Crawford eBay Expert . So I want to get a network together so that we can promote all of the podcasts, so that somebody who’s listening all week, for example, doesn’t have to rely just on one. They say, oh, there’s another one. So you can keep listening and get to know different personalities, get to see different approaches to material that eBay doesn’t do, because it’s eBay. And the more the merrier, that’s what I’d say.
Doug: Yeah, exactly. The great thing about podcasts is you can listen while you’re doing other stuff, sourcing.
Griff: Yeah, you can really, not just when you’re at home listening, you can take it out while you’re sourcing and have a good laugh while you’re going through the racks.
Doug: Yeah, exactly. Hopefully, a laugh now and then. You’ve done community, you’ve done education, and you’ve done events. What do you think is the biggest eBay event you’ve done? eBay Live, how big were those?
Griff: Oh, those were huge. Those started in 2002 and ran until 2008. They were once a year. They were huge conventions. There were fifteen thousand attendees a year. Those were big events. And they were exciting and it was three days of never flagging high energy. So the third day you’re usually completely exhausted. You’d have to have an afterglow cigarette if it was good for you. I was exhausted after, but those events were great. And my favorite one, and they were all good, my favorite one was the 10th anniversary in San Jose. Not because we didn’t have to travel, but because it was the last event that was going to be, at the time, nothing but positive energy. Starting afterward, there was a little bit of I don’t like the fees and negative feedback. But that was a great event.
Doug: So this is your second BOSS Reseller Remix.
Griff: Yeah, we came last year.
Doug: So what do you think of this event?
Griff: I wish there were more of them. This one is an interesting event because for three days it’s so content-oriented. So there’s a constant stream of speakers. And these are all people who are sellers or industry experts or service providers, like List Perfectly, and they present, and the presentations are like, they’re so not corporate. BOSS Reseller Remix
And I think that the audience of sellers that come to this event and events like it would appreciate that because Yeah, you know me, I’m not a corporate guy, but I think it gives a lot of credibility to the learning process when you have people out there- who are genuinely sharing what they know.
And that’s what these events provide, a face-to-face opportunity and we’re seeing an uptick at eBay in seller sponsored events, we think it’s an effect of the pandemic finally winding down and people are hungry for face-to-face, person-to-person contact. eBay Seller Events
Doug: So you’re widely considered and known as an eBay expert.
Griff: Yeah, I’d have to push back.
Doug: But are you still learning?
Griff: Oh, yeah. Yeah! Internally, because so much changes at eBay, it used to be easier to keep up internally with changes or who to talk to, to learn more, and get questions answered. This becomes a bigger challenge every year. And it’s not because the company’s growing, but because of the workload within a company, like eBay for enhancing or adding seller products and features. Gets bigger all the time.
Yeah, I’m still learning. You cannot work for a company like eBay and be static; you won’t survive. At least you wouldn’t be able to help sellers with their questions. We get questions that come in every week, and the majority of those questions I cannot answer confidently on my own. I have to go and make sure the answer is correct. And in a couple of episodes up, you’ll see what I mean. And I won’t say any more than that. There’s a correction coming.
They’re applauding the correction!
Doug: So do you have any big takeaways from this week?
Griff: I think my biggest, to be honest, is how, and if you’ve worked for a company like eBay and in the heyday it was like the shining sun in the sky all alone. And every year now, it’s just part of the reality of business, eBay has matured. I still see it’s a main sequence star, but it’s now part of a binary, uh, it’s, I don’t know why I’m doing this cosmology analogy, it’s not gonna go anywhere, but I think it’s not the sole player in the universe, and it becomes more and more obvious and it’s so interesting. This is how startup businesses start if you get small sort of scruffy guerrilla companies that start up like Whatnot and grab so much attention from the crowd, like the sellers here. And you see this happening all over. Things pop up that eBay doesn’t necessarily provide, whether it’s marketplace or services, and it increases that universe.
I think a company like eBay thinks, Oh, we liked it when we were the only player. Of course, that’s how any business is going to think. But, thinking one step beyond, I think that benefits all customers to have that list of options. And it keeps a company like eBay fresh because you can’t rest on your laurels anymore. You have to compete against, or with, all of the other services and companies that now are popping up. And it’s a good thing they’re popping up. It shows the market’s still healthy.
Griff: Honestly, I’m afraid to participate. And the reason I’m afraid to participate is I remember how addicted I used to get at auctions. How I’d lose my mind and overbid for stuff. And in this phase of my life, I’m trying to deassess possessions and not acquire more. I know that it’s a successful way to buy a lot of stuff, so I’m avoiding them. Sorry.
Doug: Yeah, that’s alright. Honestly, that’s how I was about eBay in the late 90s. I went there and searched Duran Duran, and I was like, I can never look at this again because all my money will go here.
Griff: Yeah, and I’ve just spent the last year deassessing tons of property. I’ve collected purchases on eBay mostly because I couldn’t take it all with me on the move. It just didn’t make sense.
Doug: Yeah, when we chatted with Betsy, she said that I’m so excited Griff is sending me some stuff from his collection. Season 3: Episode 38: eBay Radio, eBay Open, eBay History, and More with eBetsy | The Seller Community Podcast
Griff: Yeah, I sent a box, I had a huge collection of eBay branded stuff that I’ve collected over 25 years. And I didn’t want to bring it with me to Palm Springs because I feel it does no good in storage. I don’t necessarily display it. So I don’t know if you know this, but where the podcast rooms are in the San Jose campus, I dragged all those boxes into the video room and they’re all lined up against the wall. I told Rebecca and Brian, just give it away. Anyone who comes. Just give them things. Get it out there.
Brian said, but what if they resell it? Get it to them. Let them resell it. It should be circulating. It shouldn’t be sitting in a box. Plus, when you get older, you’re not so attached.
Doug: Yeah. Trust me. I know that. That’s what I’m, that’s what I sell when I sell. It’s all the stuff is like, Oh, this is, Oh, this is cool, but it’s been sitting in a box for 20 years.
Griff: Send it out to the world.
Doug: That’s right, give it away.
Griff: Let somebody else give it a house space.
Doug: That’s right.
Griff: Keep it dust-free.
Doug: Okay, so before we go, what’s next for Griff?
Griff: You would think at my age it’d be retirement. But, and I’ve mulled it over, and I think eBay does look at their watches sometimes and say, when is that old guy leaving?
But I made a promise to myself that I would consider leaving eBay when it was no fun anymore and where I wasn’t learning. And fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, that day hasn’t seemed to arrive. Yeah, I’ll be 70 in April and I’m still here.
Doug: All right. That’s good for the rest of us. And thank you so much, and thank you for everything you’ve done for me, everything you do for Sellers, and you’re an idol of mine, I guess you’d say.
Griff: That’s a lot of pressure. Would you like an autograph and we’ll take a picture?
Doug: I still have my what is it, the Greatest Store? What’s the book?
Griff: Oh, the Adam Cohen book?
Griff: Yeah, The Perfect Store. The Perfect Store: Inside eBay by Adam Cohen, Paperback
Doug: The Perfect Store, I want to get you and Brian to sign it, but the problem is I’m on my third or fourth copy because I give them to people.
Griff: Oh, of course, yeah.
Doug: And no offense if he’s listening, but I thought it was, it’s great because you guys are in it and people I know.
Griff: Oh, yeah.
Doug: And the first half is great, the second half is a little…it seemed a little rushed to me.
Griff: It’s been a while since I’ve read it. I used to read it every night before I went to bed. It’s a good way to fall asleep. Let’s read about me! I’m only on a few pages, it’s not that big of a deal.
Doug: There’s some good Griff stories, some good Brian stories. Poor Brian.
Griff: There are so many Griff and Brian stories that you don’t know. I don’t think you ever will, at least until our demise.
Doug: There we go. Hopefully, it’s not for a long time.
Griff: We were talking about this last night, and there’s been so many incredibly hysterical situations that have come, nothing that would be compromising to anyone or the company, but just really one aspect of the things about, the thing about working for eBay that keeps it fresh and interesting is, it’s never boring.
Doug: Yeah, there’s always something. And I do love the Brian advocating for porn maybe not porn, erotic art, or…
Griff: That was an interesting chapter in the history. And that’s not just for eBay, I think every marketplace had to deal with that. Where do you draw the line? Where are you pushing up against law and legal issues? How do you keep an audience that’s always going to be diverse from not being offended? And it is such a difficult line.
It doesn’t surprise me that a lot of marketplaces just say no. And Pierre’s original idea about content that would be considered adult was, hey, he was very libertarian about this. Pierre Omidyar How I Did It: EBay’s Founder on Innovating the Business Model of Social Change Everything goes as long as it’s not illegal. And that was great in the early days. But eventually, you get a…
There’s no denying it. You can’t pretend otherwise. Corporations are brands. The brands are the reputation. That’s where the value is. And you gotta think about how the brand stands out among the crowds and I love the tension! I think that tension is fun to watch. But it doesn’t surprise me that so many marketplaces had to make the decision that, look, it’s just as easy not to have the material at all.
Doug: Yeah. What’s that old saying? One man’s art is another man’s porn?
Griff: And you can always go to the corner store and buy it if you need, the windows blacked out.
Doug: There you go. Alright Griff, thanks so much. Anything to add?
Griff: Yeah, only you would end this interview on such a subject. Thanks, Doug. Restricted adult items policy | eBay
Doug: Thank you so much.
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